In a completely nonsensical act (which seems on brand, tbh), notorious phone spammer Craig Kelly is supporting a bill to… ban unsolicited text messages. The lack of self-awareness is truly impressive.
Federal Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie re-introduced the the Unsolicited Political Communications Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 to Parliament today, which would give citizens like us the option to unsubscribe from annoying texts and calls from political parties — something you actually can’t do at the moment.
The bills comes after the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) received over 4000 complaints about unsolicited political texts this year alone. And who’s surprised, after the Craig Kelly spam?
— Hugh Riminton (@hughriminton) August 26, 2021
In case you missed it, Federal Member for Hughes and United Australia Party Leader Craig Kelly sent out a bunch of spam texts earlier this year, including one with COVID misinformation, as well as an email that said vaccinated adults could become “Typhoid Mary-style superspreaders of the infection.”
I was just sent this by a staffer contact.
It's an email sent from Craig Kelly's MP email address to every MP, Senator and their staffers discussing so-called "alarming findings devastating to the COVID vaccine rollout." pic.twitter.com/R26RzaeLHP
— Eden Gillespie (@edengillespie) August 27, 2021
People tried to report the texts to the AMCA, but their hands were tied because it’s actually legal for political parties to send you unsolicited texts.
“Messages from political parties, independent members of parliament (phone calls only), government bodies and registered charities are exempt from most spam and telemarketing rules,” the ACMA said in a tweet.
Which brings us back to this new bill, which Rebekha Sharkie says is designed to stop the Craig Kellys of the world from blowing up our phones.
“ACMA is completely powerless to act on the thousands of complaints because political messages are exempt from the laws that prohibit unsolicited communications. Instead political parties… are free to harass Australians with a bombardment of unwanted messages,” she said, per 9 News.
“This bill gives the power back to Australians…with the express purpose to give consumers more control over what they receive from political parties and individual politicians.”
Despite the legislation literally being a direct response to the United Australia Party, Craig Kelly thinks it’s a “good idea”.
“I think it’s a good idea, all the United Australia Party has called for is a level playing field, that’s all we want,” he said.
“We want to make sure whatever the rules are that both the major political parties we get to compete with them under the same rules,” he added.
Kelly also reckons the anger at his spam texts is exaggerated, so don’t take his endorsement of the bill to be a sign of change.
“To be honest it is a microsecond swipe of the finger that deletes the text message so there is a lot of beat-up about this and you know everyone gets countless spam emails across their computer. I know how they do become annoying but again you wipe them out it takes you a microsecond to wipe the things out if you don’t want to read them.”
This coming from the man obsessed with accusing the government of tyranny over basic health measures. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Kelly drove home his lack of self-awareness with assurances that Aussies can expect a fuck-tonne more ads from him and the United Party ahead of the election.
“We’ll be using every advertising manner that we have that is lawful, from large billboards, television advertising, newspaper advertising to radio advertising because we will be competing against the major parties on that level playing field to give the Australian public a real alternate third choice.”
The only alternate choice I want is to opt out of this man’s reality, thanks.